How Bupa cut its development costs — and found the equivalent of a full time employee in the process

U.K. firm Bupa is a truly global operation, providing healthcare services and private insurance in 190 countries around the world – employing more than 62,000 people in the process. That massive scale means the company has some needs that can only be met by developing its own proprietary software, a task it accomplishes with in-house development teams in its various business units.

Bupa’s developers use agile methodologies to trim the cost of development reporting and governance -- and Microsoft development technologies play a key role in keeping their development efforts on track. The company has long used Microsoft Visual Studio as a development environment and Microsoft Visual Team Foundation Server for application lifecycle management and source code control. The company recently realized, however, that it could use Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 and Microsoft Test Manager to handle its testing processes as well.

The change might seem slight, but having development and testing done within the same environment has proved to be a revelation for Bupa. It allows the company ease distinctions between its testing and development team. That makes collaboration easier, but it also lessens the burdens of reporting and project management. Problem areas are easy to spot and the team is able to work as a cohesive whole to address them.

The shift is proving to be a cost-saver as well. By moving the entire process to Microsoft Visual Studio and Microsoft Visual Team Foundation Server, the company expects to save £220,000 in licensing fees over the course of 3 years. It also free up resources, by cutting down on time-consuming manual reporting tasks – meaning that more of the company’s development budget can be spent on adding new functionality. Bupa says the difference in efficiency is the equivalent of getting a full-time employee back from report duties.

Does your health organisation develop its own applications? Want to learn more about how Microsoft technologies can make development easier? Learn more about the Bupa story.

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